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by Brett Davis

Volkswagen is working on a Temporary Auto-Pilot (TAP) system which utilises various parameters, such as GPS-guided cruise control and lane assistance systems, to come up with a driving mode where the driver doesn’t actually have to do anything.

According to the research, the company says the system could be adapted for highway driving at speeds of up to 130km/h. Volkswagen says the technology does require the driver to monitor the car’s progress, but the system itself will do the driving. At any time the driver can also override the function simply by taking one of the controls.

The TAP system is being further developed by Volkswagen with help from the European-funded research and development project called HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles or Intelligent Transport). Volkswagen Prof Dr Jurgen Leohold, executive director of Volkswagen Group Research, has presented the system to HAVEit as a complete working project, so it may not be too far out of reach for production vehicles.

The technology not only has the potential to improve convenience, but also to improve efficiency of travel and reduce dangers on our roads. Dr Leohold spoke about the technology at its unveiling, saying,

“The driver always retains driving responsibility and is always in control. The driver can override or deactivate the system at any time and must continually monitor it.”

“Above all, what we have achieved today is an important milestone on the path towards accident-free driving.”

Volkswagen hasn’t yet hinted if or when the technology will make its way into the showroom.

What do you think? Are driving assistance systems becoming too intrusive, or could this provide a big step forward in road safety and a more efficient use of travel time for motorists? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.